THE HAGUE – It took a few centuries, but now the sea border between the Caribbean part of the Kingdom and the Dominican Republic is now legally established.
It has been decided to connect the border line to the border line established in the previously concluded border treaty between Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. The Kingdom thereby renounces about 35 km2 of sea area, but this has the advantage that ambiguity about the borders of the Kingdom is prevented.
Minister Wopke Hoekstra (Foreign Affairs) has presented the underlying Kingdom Act to the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament and the Parliaments of Curaçao, Aruba and Sint Maarten. The demarcation of the maritime border with the Dominican Republic is especially important for Curaçao and Aruba with a view to fishing, the environment and research.
This Kingdom Act proposal relates to the approval of the Maritime Delimitation Treaty concluded in Santo Domingo on 5 July 2021 between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Dominican Republic (hereinafter: the treaty). It concerns a demarcation of sea areas of the Kingdom in the Caribbean, which defines the sea border with the Dominican Republic.
After the Kingdom previously invited the Dominican Republic to negotiate the demarcation of sea areas, treaty negotiations finally started in 2020 at the invitation of the Dominican Republic.
This demarcation between the Kingdom and the Dominican Republic has been established in consultation with the other countries within the Kingdom, in particular with Aruba and Curaçao, because the demarcation that has been established relates to the sea areas of both countries. The establishment of the demarcation provides clarity about the geographical scope of the powers at sea. It can be of importance for fisheries management and protection of the marine environment or scientific marine research.
The delineation established in the treaty is an important part of the total demarcations, with which the maritime borders between the Kingdom and the Caribbean neighboring states are determined. It is in line with the delimitation of sea areas with Venezuela established in the agreement concluded on March 31, 1978 in Willemstad, the Border Treaty between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Republic of Venezuela (Trb. 1978, 61; hereinafter Border Treaty with Venezuela).
This demarcation with the Dominican Republic thus completes the establishment of the international maritime borders of the countries Aruba and Curaçao. The Dominican Republic itself concluded a treaty with Venezuela in 1979 on the mutual maritime border.